Top of the Hill column: Saddle Hill Community Trust youth worker Renee Faithful.
To most of us on the Taieri, the sense of community is one of the highlights of living here.
The Saddle Hill Foundation Trust’s youth and community worker role is a new position that has been created to continue to bring together our community, with a new emphasis on involving and encouraging our youth to grow and develop within our own grounds.
Our goal with this role is to provide the young people of the Mosgiel-Taieri community with resources and programmes to encourage positive and whole lives emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Part of my role is running the Youth East Taieri youth group called Random, and to provide our youth with pastoral care. The “Random” youth group welcomes anybody from years 9 to 13 who wants to come along and have fun for a few hours on a Friday night.
This role also includes networking with other groups in our community and overseeing projects and partnerships with local groups. A lot of these responsibilities and projects have been taken over from Joy Davis, who many people in our community will know and respect.
Joy is now working for Otago Neighbourhood Support and has been a great support to me. Part of Joy’s responsibilities that have been passed on to me were running the Mosgiel Resource Group (which was created to get our community communicating), and organising events such as East Taieri Church’s business breakfasts and the mid-winter seniors’ lunch.
Staying involved with local organisations and businesses is also an important priority. Our goal is to be continuing to partner with local organisations such as the Lions Club, the Rotary Club, local churches, and Presbyterian Support Otago. To us, focusing on the bigger picture and the Taieri’s potential is crucial that we will continue to support local. As Alan Shanks said in a recent article, one of our objectives is to network and partner with local agencies to find local solutions for local needs. This may be more relevant to our community now than it ever has been.
One of the main focuses of this role is combining youth and community together. This will mean you may see me and the rest of the trust’s team visiting and working with schools and youth organisations to strengthen relationships between our youth and the rest of the community. Who better to invest in than the Taieri’s future!